Thousands Join Right-Wing Rally in Madrid, Demand PM Resign

Pauline Gross
February 12, 2019

Amid the ongoing protests, embattled Prime Minister Sanchez tweeted, "The #Government works for the unity of #Spain and this means uniting the Spaniards and not confronting them as the right does".

Tens of thousands of people waving Spanish flags joined a rally on Sunday in Madrid called by right-wing and far-right parties against Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez over his negotiations with Catalan separatists.

Polls show that between them the PP, Ciudadanos and Vox would win a majority if a general election were held today, giving them the combined parliamentary clout to drive Sanchez from office.

"The time of Sanchez's government has ended", leader of the Popular Party Pablo Casado said at the protest, according to theNew York Times.

Sanchez's minority government, came to power last June ousting a conservative government and relying on the support of the left-wing party Podemos, Catalan nationalists and other small parties.

The protest occurred as the government anticipated a vote Wednesday, Feb. 13, on its budget proposal.

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The leaders of Spain's main three right wing parties - the conservative Popular Party (PP), centre-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) and far right Vox, had called the demonstration after the government's proposal to appoint a rapporteur in talks amongst political parties created to come up with agreement over the problem.

Ana Puente, a 73 year-old retiree, said she was protesting for a "united Spain".

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo however, said that the discussions between the government and separatists were likely to fail as pro-independence groups reject the proposed framework. The Catalan groups want a referendum on independence included on the agenda, which Madrid will not accept. He holds just over a quarter of the seats in parliament and was favoured by Catalan supporters as he was more open to discussions.

Failure by parliament to approve the budget bill could prompt a snap election before the next scheduled vote in 2020.

Twelve Catalan politicians go on trial on Tuesday (February 12) for their role in Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid, but they don't think they will get a fair trial, a defence lawyer said on Monday.

Other reports by GizPress

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